Backlash fury over bin strike

A MUM in Mirfield has called for overflowing bins to be emptied following last week’s public sector strike.

Leanne O’Sullivan, 35, is one of many residents whose grey bin was not emptied as usual last Thursday.

Kirklees Council said there will be no catch-up service, with bins staying put until the next due collection.

It means up to 40,000 households across the district will not have had their rubbish emptied for a month.

History student Leanne, who has two children, Katie, six, and Ruby, eight, said the grey bin at her Johnson Street home is overflowing. She added that rats have been seen in the street while bins and black bags are starting to smell.

Leanne said: “Everybody has a right to strike but we’re paying council tax for a public service we’re not getting.

“A month without a bin being emptied is unacceptable. The council should make it a priority.”

She said going to the tip is a problem as she has no car, and family members live outside the area.

Council leader Coun David Sheard admitted, after getting embroiled in an online row (see below),  that not having a contingency plan was a mistake.

He told a cabinet meeting on Wednesday: “Having no provision... in hindsight that may have been wrong.

“One suggesion I saw was to swap the green bin collection for grey, but people would need to be told so they don’t put the wrong bin out.”

Mirfield councillor Vivien Lees-Hamilton said she took up complaints from residents with council officials.

She added: “I was told the council did want to do a mop-up session, but the unions had said ‘no’. It was thought it would lessen the impact of the strike.

“All the council can do in response is wring their hands and try to blame the government.”

Dewsbury and Mirfield MP Simon Reevell was scathing, dubbing Kirklees ‘incompetent’.

He added: “The situation looks even more ridiculous considering Calderdale Council did a full collection on the day of the strike, while Wakefield Council put on a special collection.

“This is the sort of thing that happens when you have an administration whose sympathies lie more with the strikers than taxpayers.”

Twitter storm as Council boss raps ‘pathetic’ critics in collections row

COUNCIL leader David Sheard got himself embroiled in an online row about bin collections.

The Labour veteran took to Twitter following last week’s public sector strike.

He wrote: “... savings Kirklees make as a result of the strike action should be used to replace some of money cut from welfare fund by government.”

His message came in reply to tweets from Mirfield resident Marie Peacock, who is a fundraising manager at Kirkwood Hospice.

She wrote: “I am furious that my bin hasn’t been emptied. I pay all my taxes and should be refunded if service is not provided.”

Others chipped in, with some wanting the council to swap this week’s green bin collection to grey.

Concerns were raised over hot weather, smells, sanitary issues and rats being seen near schools.

Coun Sheard replied: “Pathetic individuals compare their slight inconvenience with those who rely on food banks.”

A row broke out, with Coun Sheard accused of being “insulting” and a “real charmer.”

Marie Peacock added: “As the leader I expect better from you. How dare you make light of a very real issue for residents?”

Coun Sheard posted: “This thread was started by my suggestion of using the savings made because of the strike to help those in greatest need.

“My regular Conservative followers decided to use it to whine about their inconvenience. My comment was addressed to them.”

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